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Must Reads: Landis’ interview with Kimmage and Contador’s defense plans

NYVelocity: Transcript of Kimmage/Landis interview NYVelocity is running the complete transcript of an interview that Paul Kimmage did with Floyd Landis. The interview was the basis for Kimmage’s article in the (London) Sunday Times. According to NYVelocity, Kimmage thought the interview touched on issues that would be of…

NYVelocity: Transcript of Kimmage/Landis interview

NYVelocity is running the complete transcript of an interview that Paul Kimmage did with Floyd Landis. The interview was the basis for Kimmage’s article in the (London) Sunday Times. According to NYVelocity, Kimmage thought the interview touched on issues that would be of interest to a cycling savvy audience but which he left out of the Times article, which was aimed at a more general interest audience. Definitely a Must Read.

El Mundo: Contador lawyer outlines defense: ‘Gasquet’s kiss’

In an op-ed piece in the Spanish edition of El Mundo, one of Contador’s lead attorneys spelled out its defense to try to clear Alberto Contador from doping charges.

Andy Ramos Gil de la Haza wrote that a foundation of Contador’s defense will be proving that the three-time Tour de France winner accidently ingested clenbuterol during his infamous steak dinner during the Tour’s second rest day.

Although he acknowledges that the WADA is clear on its rule of strict liability in outlining that athletes are responsible for everything that enters their system, Ramos Gil de la Haza argues there is a precedent for WADA to excuse an athlete for claims of accidental ingestion.

The lawyer cited the case of French tennis player Richard Gasquet, who tested positive for traces of cocaine in March 2009. Gasquet argued that the residue of cocaine entered his system after kissing a woman he met in a Miami disco who was sniffing the white powder.

In 2009, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected an appeal from WADA and the International Tennis Federation, and Gasquet was cleared to resume playing (see statement below).

Whether “Gasquet’s kiss” will be enough to help get Contador off the hook remains to be seen.

Comunique from the International Tennis Association on the Gasquet case

London, England, 17 Dec 2009 – The International Tennis Federation announced that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) has today dismissed the appeal by WADA and the ITF against the decision dated 15 July 2009 of an independent Anti-Doping Tribunal convened under the 2009 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.

The independent Tribunal had found that Richard Gasquet, a 23-year-old French tennis player, committed a Doping Offence in that a sample provided by Mr Gasquet on 28 March 2009 at the ATP event in Miami, USA, contained benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, and a banned substance. The tribunal found that Mr Gasquet had ingested cocaine inadvertently. It also found he was at fault for putting himself at risk of such contamination, but imposed a period of Ineligibility of only two months and fifteen days, rather than the 12-month sanction that is the minimum required under the World Anti-Doping Code for No Significant Fault or Negligence cases.

The ITF appealed on the grounds that (a) there was insufficient evidence to support Mr Gasquet’s claim of contamination; and (b) in any event, the tribunal was not entitled to depart from the 12-month minimum sanction prescribed by the Code for No Significant Fault or Negligence cases.

The CAS agreed that Mr Gasquet had committed a Doping Offence under the Programme, but rejected the ITF’s and WADA’s appeal on the basis that it was satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that Mr Gasquet’s claim of inadvertent contamination was correct. The CAS further ruled that Mr Gasquet bore No Fault or Negligence for that contamination, so that no period of Ineligibility should have been imposed on him. The CAS did not, therefore, consider the question of whether the Tribunal had been entitled to depart from the 12-month minimum sanction prescribed by the Code for No Significant Fault or Negligence cases.

As the period of Ineligibility imposed on Mr Gasquet by the independent Tribunal has already expired, he remains eligible to participate.

The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised drug-testing programme that applies to all players competing at tournaments sanctioned by the ITF, ATP World Tour, and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and upon a finding that a Doping Offence has been committed, sanctions are imposed in accordance with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code. More background information on the Programme, sanctions, tennis statistics and related information can be found at www.itftennis.com/antidoping.